Redemption is the word on the minds of the Brusly Panthers as they head into the quarterfinals of the LHSAA 3A State Championship Playoffs.
Last season, the Brusly Panthers baseball team was ranked number one going into the state tournament but was knocked out in the semi-final round with a shocking 12-0 shutout loss at the hands of #5 Iowa High School.
“We have a little extra motivation because Iowa kept us from making the State Championship game last year,” Brusly head coach Tait Dupont said. “Iowa is a solid team this year and we need to be very good at all phases of the game to advance to the State Tournament.”
Friday at 6:00 p.m., the #2 ranked Panthers will face #10 Iowa for the chance to move onto the semi-final round of the state championship.
The Panthers earned their pass to the quarterfinal round by sweeping Caldwell Parish High School in two games last weekend. Friday, April 27, Brusly won 10-7 and Saturday, April 28, 15-2.
“We did not play a great game on Friday, but we were able to battle back from a 4-0 and 5-3 deficit to get the win 10-7, which just shows we will battle back when in a hole,” Dupont said. I’m very proud of the way we fought back.”
After giving up four runs in the third inning, the Panthers were down 5-3 in the top of the fourth when their offense got a jumpstart and they put up six runs to take the lead in the bottom of the inning. The charge began when Tyler Theriot hit a three-run home run on a 1-0 count, followed by a Caldwell error and a single for two more.
Theriot, Harrison Boudreaux, and Cameron Daigle, all had multiple hits. Theriot went 2-for-4 with 3 RBI and 3 runs. Daigle hit 2-for-5 with two runs, and Boudreaux hit 3-for-5 with 1 RBI and 2 runs.
Theriot also took the win on the mound pitching all seven innings allowing seven runs off of seven hits. He struck out six and only walked four.
“We continued that momentum in the 1st inning on Saturday by putting up 7 runs,” Coach Dupont said. “Our goal was to jump on Caldwell early and continue putting pressure on them all game and we did that. We had a good defense behind Daigle and he pitched really well also. That, combined with the way we are hitting, makes me feel really good going into this weekend series against Iowa.”
The Panthers took control in the first inning of Saturday’s game and never let up.
Brusly opened up the scoring when Garret Roberts drew a walk with bases loaded to score the first run. When Caldwell was finally able to get their third out, the Panthers had already cycled through their lineup and had a seven-run lead.
The Panthers scored another run in the third and two in the fourth before putting the nail in the coffin with a big five-run sixth inning.
Daigle hit 3-for-5 with 3 RBI. Roberts went 2-for-3 with 2 RBI and one run.
Daigle was also credited with the victory. He went six innings on the mound, allowing two runs on six hits and striking out eight.
Brusly will welcome Iowa to the Brusly High baseball field Friday, May 4 at 6:00 p.m. for the first game in a best-of-three series. Game two will be played at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, and if necessary, the third game will be played at 2:30 Saturday, with the winner moving on to the semi-final round of the playoffs in Sulphur.